Below are some points every American should know about the display and maintenance of the flag:
• The flag should not be displayed during inclement weather. Traditionally, it would only be displayed from sunrise until sunset, although it can be displayed at night if well-lit.
• The flag should never be used for advertising, printed on disposable items like napkins or boxes, or used as part of a costume or athletic uniform.
• The flag should not be dipped to any person or thing, including the president of the United States.
• The flag should never touch anything below it, including the ground.
• No flag should be displayed higher than the American flag. And when another nation’s flag is flown, it should be flown from a separate flag pole, with the American flag hoisted first and lowered last. The American flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
• If displayed on a car, the flag should be affixed to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
• When a flag is no longer in good condition, it should be destroyed in a dignified, ceremonious fashion, preferably by burning. The American Legion hosts an annual ceremony retiring old flags.
Here’s something every American should read, from the American Legion’s flag retirement ceremony:
“A flag may be a flimsy bit of printed gauze, or a beautiful banner of finest silk. Its value may be trifling or great; but its real value is beyond price, for it is a symbol of all that we have worked for and lived for, and died for a free nation of free men, true to the faith of the past, devoted to the ideals and practice of justice, freedom and democracy.”
— From The Norman (Oklahoma) Transcript (TNS)